Hidden Dangers


I’m pretty sure the overt dangers of life in NY have been well covered by the media.  Overblown, even.


English: Heavily tagged subway car in NY in 1973.

English: Heavily tagged subway car in NY in 1973. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The trains don’t even look like this anymore.  As a New Yorker, I have and always have had a certain comfort level with the stuff that makes tourists clutch their purses.  Yes, I rode the trains at all kinds of hours, even when they still looked like the above photo.  Not only rode them, but I’d fall asleep–almost always waking up just as the doors opened at my stop.


Safety tips can be summarized quickly.  Look like you know where you’re going, and do so at a reasonable pace.  Don’t gawk.  Don’t be stupid (flashing cash, jewelry, etc).  Flashing boobage is questionable.  It’s legal in NY, you can’t be arrested for it, but I think we’ve got a little way to go before it’s safe to be a topless female waiting for the 4 train.   And oh yeah, watch out for subway grates when you’re walking down the sidewalk in stilettos.


In Central Park relax, enjoy, and don’t walk through by yourself after dark or before other joggers/bikers/dogwalkers are up and about.  Don’t pet the squirrels (nasty and rabid) or feed the pigeons (gross).  C’mon, it’s self explanatory. Same rules as NYers.  Don’t stare ’em down, keep moving, leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.  Or be prepared to be the crazier one, but that’s another post.


Central Park

Central Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Occasionally you can spot a raccoon in the park.  Never heard of one that didn’t have rabies, don’t pet it, or send your dog after it.  I saw something in a tree staring down at me last week, I swear it looked like a sloth.  Tried to get a photo, but dusk in the park and my camera phone don’t seem to care for each other.  Sometimes there are other bizarre animals to be found in there that don’t belong at all, generally because some bozo thought an exotic pet was a good idea when it was cute and little.  Then it got big, angry, and tried to eat its owner, so Mr Macho decided to release it into the “wild” of Central Park.  Thanks.


Yesterday I learned something new.  There’s poison ivy in parts of the park.  Not only did I not know that, it never occurred to me.  For me, that’s under the category of “things to learn about if I go rural.”


This morning I was walking my beasts.  Not even 7AM, just walking down the street, not in the park, and we were accosted by a sparrow.  It has to be one of the most bizarre experiences I’ve ever had.  This little twit hopped out from under the orange netting of a construction site and chirp chirp cheeped at Little Incredibly Dumb Dog.  OK, I figure the thing must be confused, built a nest in the wrong place, I pulled my little fluffball away.  Then the thing went after Big Senile Dog.  Really?!  I can’t tell you how uninterested BSD is in birds, squirrels, etc.  I beg him to frighten the pigeons off of the terrace, but if they aren’t in his sunning spot, he just doesn’t give a shit.  He kept walking, in search of the ideal poop spot.  The sparrow chased after us, twittering and chirping and hopping while Little Incredibly Dumb Dog kept yapping, until the bird got Big Stupid Dog’s attention.  He, of course, decides it must be a pre breakfast snack and opens his mouth.  I hauled both dogs away as his teeth were about two centimeters from the little morsel, convinced we had come across a rabid sparrow.


I consulted with my good buddy Googles when I got home, it turns out, birds don’t get rabies.  Guess it was plain old New Yorkitude.

English: House Sparrow Deutsch: Haussperling S...

English: House Sparrow Deutsch: Haussperling Svenska: Gråsparv (Passer domesticus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



  1. Your fearless sparrow made me laugh out loud! Empress thought I was nuts. She is allowed to laugh at the iPad, I apparently am not. Birds are fearless here in the woods too. They will sit in the street picking at road kill as a car bears down on them and fly away at such the last second I don’t know how they aren’t hit. Or they will SIT THERE and let you straddle them (since you don’t want to hit disemboweled skunk or something, after all.) Insane. You look in your rear view mirror as you pass convinced you will see additional road kill and no, they are calmly continuing to pick away at it after something a million times its size has just roared straight over its head.


    1. 😀 Ah, the suspect activity of mom laughing at the computer screen–I know that hairy eyeball 😉

      I’m used to birds being fearless with cars (and usually flying away unscathed). Sometimes the pigeons misjudge when going for that straddle effect. But going after a big dog? A new one for me 🙂


  2. Sounds like the same advice for San Jose, Panama City, Managua, San Fran, Seattle, Des Moines, Cleveland – oops, no people left in Cleveland. But, there are sparrows, or some ugly birds. You – have – a – Terrace – ? You do live in a penthouse, I knew it. Toying with the 1% (bottom) like me with your fancy, big city ways. My only trip to NYC I get out of PAT and find 42nd Street…Jim Croce…Don’t Mess Around with Jim, or whoever. How tame. Maybe it was the -5 weather and snow…but Starbucks on the corner of Broadway was vicious.


    1. A city is a city, it’s true 🙂

      LOL, penthouse! I live one of a series of buildings built in the 60’s/70’s to convince working class people to stay in the city. Many of these buildings have terraces, perhaps to balance out the lack of old world charm or modern sleek lines.

      42nd St, very, very different than what it used to be, back in the days of that photo. Safe is nice, but ugh, what a boring area now.

      PS: I love you for quoting Jim Croce,and I love you more for referring to Don’t Mess Around with Jim 😀


      1. Uptown got it’s hustlers, downtown got it’s …
        You don’t pull the mask of the ‘ol Lone Ranger,
        And you don’t mess around with Fringe !
        HAaaaaaaaaaH !


  3. We have “rabid” sparrows at the hardware store. They make their nest behind the sign so you are invading their space every time you enter or exit the building – they can be quite aggressive.


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